Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prelude to a poem

The sky was grey and low. A dullness prevailed over the surroundings. Nothing moved except for the cold wind that scurried across trees to sweep away their dead leaves. Obstinate clouds had successfuly blocked the sun since morning and the sun after his initial attempts to peep out had retired and dimmed.The setting was perfect.It was a beautiful winter afternoon to write grim poems.

He opened a blank leaf of his notebook quickly and sat on his desk. Now it was just a matter of time, a patient wait for that moment of nausea to strike. A convulsion of emotions would stir inside him and in an uncontrolable fit he would vomit lines and spread them out on paper.

But not today, today his gloom desetred him. He could not conjure a single thought of melancholy on this perfect day. Restless, he had tried reading several passages of Master of Petersburg to catalyse his thoughts with grief. No reaction.The fact that his faculty of sadness had failed to utilize this opportune afternoon angered him bitterly. He could no longer be sad at his will.What had robbed him of this ability? What would he write now? It had taken so many great authors to convince him that only a great tragedy could infuse in his words a charm that would have a universal appeal. How could Rilke be wrong? Only after enforcing solitude and pondering over a tragedy would creativity find its roots in soul. Now all those hours of seclusion when he endured boredom seemed to have gone waste.He gave pondering one last try.

He read his previous poems.Since when had his thoughts slipped towards the dark and the gloomy.What had turned him so despondent, when did he convince himself that nothing signified anything.

He was very idealistic in his youth, he remembered. He was determined to display that his mind had a certain precociousness that education could not provide its pupil.With a dismissive air, he hid his hard work. He enjoyed practicing the obscure language of mathematics over white sheets in secret, it looked so systematic, so neat. He remembered his old desk, books piled up, notes tucked one leaf beneath the other.A youth fueled with idealism and discipline

He had also pasted one of his father's poem on the wall. What were the lines...he tried to reconstruct...

You cross your fingers if you want
i am going to sail my boat in the storm

empty lighthouse, fog or mist
i am not afriad of nature's fist
.... or dead albatross
nothing can stop me from faring across

...broken oars or broken mast
like polestar I'll stand steadfast
to catch the wind in my sail
and whistle my way....

You cross your fingers if you want
i am going to sail my boat in the storm

A shame he could not recollect the entire poem, all he remembered now were a few words glittering in green ink and his father's signature beneath.

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